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Pregnancy Diet Rich in Omega 3 Leads to Healthy Kids, Study Says
January 11, 2013
Eating the right kind of fats during pregnancy makes for healthier babies, a new study suggests.
The study, published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, says pregnant women who eat the recommended amount of fish oils, or omega 3 fatty acids, prevent their children from having weight problems later on. Those who eat fats found in nuts and cooking oil are at increased risk of having overweight children.
Researchers at the University of Southampton analyzed the fat and muscle mass of 293 children at four and six years of age. This data was compared to the blood concentration of fatty acids in their mothers while pregnant. Results indicated that children whose mothers had higher levels of omega 6 (the type of fat found in oil and nuts) had greater fat than muscle mass. The opposite was true of children whose mothers consumed more omega 3 healthy fats. In fact, the higher the level of omega 3, the less fat and more muscle and bone in the baby.
This is important news for pregnant women and those trying to conceive as it seems a fish oil supplement would benefit both the mother and baby’s health.
Omega 3 fatty acids can be found in pumpkin seeds, walnuts, oily fish, and of course fish oil supplements. Be cautious when consuming seafood before and during pregnancy, though. High levels of mercury can impact fetal brain and nervous system development. Less emphasis should be placed on the consumption of olive and sunflower oil, as they contain omega 6 fats.